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Completed 4/15/2005

Install the 8psi Intercooled ASA-based supercharger system from ESS Tuning in Norway.

As on the earlier ESS VT kit install I recommend a fairly decent amount of mechanical knowledge and confidence with your skills before tackling this adventure, it can get interesting, especially with the ESS-provided instructions. These instructions are better then the others with more detailed diretions and more photos, but I will definitely elaborate here. I will base this DIY on the ESS manual's step by step instructions and fill in with additional pictures and information I gathered along the way.

     (ESS TUNING $7175.00 part #114-13)
1 - Quart Power Steering Fluid
     (AUTO PARTS STORE $2.99)
1 - Quart Engine Oil
     (AUTO PARTS STORE $2.99)

Assorted Flathead/Phillips Screwdrivers
Socket Wrench
7mm, 8mm, 10mm, 13mm, 14mm, and 16mm Sockets
9/16" Socket
19mm Wrench
5mm and 6mm Allen Wrenches
3/16" and 3/8" Allen Wrenches
T20 and T25 Torx Drivers
3/16" Drill Bit and Drill
Diagonal/Wire Cutters
Soldering Iron & Solder
45psi Compressed Air source with Tire Fill Adapter (Schrader Valve)
Grinding Wheel or Hack Saw (optional)
Shop Towels
Bowl, cup, or Catch Pan

CAUTION: Please take the necessary precautions during this procedure. Make sure the car is cold, not cool or warm. You will be working with at least 3 engine fluids, none of which stay cool during operation. Wear eye protection. Wear gloves if needed. Don't rush and don't force anything. It's good advice and I assume NO liability by you using these instructions. Let's begin!

This is a picture of the parts that come with the TX-2 system (Photo A).

1. Disconnect your negative battery cable in the trunk with a 10mm socket and then WAIT at *least* 5 minutes (Photo B). This allows time for the discharge of any DME related circuitry/relays and complete DME shutdown.

2. Open the hood and find the "E-Box" located right in front of the driver next to the brake fluid reservoir. Remove the four (4) x T20 Torx screws (Photo C). Older cars will use a 5mm hex wrench. The box lid opens towards the fender and can be completely removed if you snap the hinges apart straight up. It sure made it easier for me.

3. Inside the "E-Box" you will find the DME. It has 5 plugs attached to it (Photo C). Rotate the locking tabs up and disconnect the plugs. There are two retaining tabs behind the DME, press these back and pull the DME straight up. It should come out pretty easily. Send this back to ESS to get reprogrammed according to the included instructions. Don't forget to make sure you only value it at 20USD and include both pro-forma invoices with the package (both speed it's trip through international customs).

I sent my DME back to ESS via FedEx International Priority. It cost me about $70 and arrived in Norway two days later. ESS had it reprogrammed and back in the mail within 24 hours. The return trip took 3 days, so overall it was out of my hands about a week. They are going to open a location in the US in late 2005. This will allow much faster DME turnaround and technical support.

ESS STEP #1 (I will note the ESS instructions in italics from now on)
Remove front bumper, air brake ducts, and left front headlight.

5. Chock the wheels and jack up the front of the car using the factory jack blocks under the doors. Be sure to use jack stands to support it. This step just makes working under the car a little easier. It is not mandatory.

6. Remove the plastic undertray under the engine by removing the three (3) x push rivets with a small screwdriver or pliers and then the seven (7) x phillips-head lock screws. These are capture screws and will not fall out.

7. Removing the bumper is easier than I thought. Inside each wheel well are 8mm nuts (Photo D). You only need to remove the one closest to the outside of the car on each side. You may have to pop the plastic fender liner out of the bumper when you remove it, you will see what I mean.

8. There are two (2) x phillips-head screws under the bumper in front of each wheel. These need to be removed as well.

9. Using a E45 Torx Socket on an 6" extension, find the two large circular holes under the bumper (Photo E) and go up inside to find the main bumper bolts. Remove both. They are long and may get caught on the bumper support once they are loose, but you can reach up inside the bumper and pull them out if you need to.

10. Using a buddy to support the bumper and slowly pull it straight forward away from the car (about 2") and disconnect the horns and foglight wiring (Photo F).

11. Remove the bumper and place it someplace safe, it can easily be scratched. This is what you will see once it is removed (Photo G).

12. Remove the left front corner turn signal lamp using a phillips head screwdriver to loosen plastic retainer nut and disconnect the wiring harness (Photo H). See my BMW CLEAR FRONT/SIDE TURN SIGNALS DIY for more info. Put the lamp in a safe place.

13. Remove the trim piece under the headlamp by releasing the inner tabs towards the center of the car and pulling it straight forward (Photo I). Be careful not to bend or break any tabs.

14. On the headlamp, there are two (2) x 8mm screws above and two (2) x 8mm screws below holding it in place (Photos J & K) . Remove these and pull the headlamp assembly forward enough to remove the 4 wiring harness plugs. Pull the headlamp assembly out and put in a safe place. They are very expensive, don't drop it.

NOTE: I have the ZHP M-tech II bumper, so removing the brake ducts was not necessary. You may have to remove or cut them on other bumpers.

Remove covers and air filter box in the engine bay.

15. The "covers" is the air intake feed box sitting above the radiator and the engine cover. There are three (3) x push rivets on the radiator cover which can be removed with a small screwdriver and good fingers (Photo L). They are the same type as used in the engine undertray.

16. Remove the (2) x 10mm bolts from the airbox (Photo M). Loosen the 6mm nut on the rear hose clamp of the MAF (Photo N). Disconnect the MAF wiring harness plug. Leave the MAF connected to the air box for now. You can then pull the rear of the lower airbox up and out (Photo O). You will most likely pull the small seconday front air duct out with it, this is OK, you won't reuse it. Keep the MAF from getting damaged. You will need to reinstall it later.

TIP: Any time you are not directly working on any intake hoses, try to keep a clean cloth in the tubes to keep debris out.

17. Pry the caps out of the engine cover with a flathead screwdriver (Photo P). Using a 10mm socket, remove the two (2) x 10mm screws below and remove the engine cover. To get to the rear screw, remove the microfilter housing by twisting the 3 clips counterclockwise 1/4 turn (Photo Q), remove the cover and the microfilter. Remove the four (4) x T25 Torx screws in the rear of the housing (Photo R). For the most part, they are capture screw and will stay with the housing. Disconnect the wire channel on the front of the housing by pulling straight up and away from the housing. Let it lay across the engine (Photo S). Pull the microfilter housing up and out and then remove the rear engine cover bolt (Photo T).

ESS STEP #3 & #4
Mounting the intercooler and pipes.
Oil return line on engine side.

18. Remove the plastic air dam by removing the 4 snap screws. There are two one each side. I ended up breaking them while trying to get them out, but it is OK, they are not reused (Photo U).

19. Using the supplied intercooler brackets, mount the intercooler to the radiator cross-brace using supplied 13mm nuts. I was going for the steatlh effect, so I lightly dusted the intercooler with black high-temp radiator paint (Photos V, W, X, & Y). Use a 5mm hex to attach the intercooler to its brackets using the supplied bolts.

20. Before I went ahead with attaching the intercooler pipes, I wanted to attack the oil disptick replacement. There is more room now than later in the install, so let's get it done. Unplug the F-connection in the intake hose (Photo Z) and remove the hose clamps farther down (Photo AA). Remove this section of intake hose, it is not reused. The F-connection has two hoses connected. The larger is the brake booster/ICV feed and the smaller is the fuel pressure regulator line.

21. I could not get to the hose clamps that hold the remaining hose elbow on the throttle body. My hands are just too big. I ended up cutting as much of the hose away as I could which let me get behind the throttle body and release the clamps on the body and the smaller idle control valve fitting above it (Photo AB). Remove the hose and clamps.

22. Follow the dipstick down and find the 13mm bolt on the dipstick itself (Photo AC). Farther down, there are two hoses attached in clips to the dipstick. Work your hand down there and remove them too. One more rubber drain hose is attached to the dipstick right before it enters the engine crankcase. This must be pulled off. It is tough to remove, but pull hard and it will pop off. Remove the 13mm and pull the disptick from the car. It will pop out up of the crankcase. Keep an eye out for the O-ring at the base. It usually comes out with the dipstick, but if not, you need to get it out of the dipstick hole. You need to lubricate and re-use this O-ring on the new dipstick. Use new engine oil to lightly coat it.

23. Move the factory clips (Photo AD) to the new ESS-supplied dipstick (Photo AE). Also make sure you move the O-ring mentioned in the previous step and give it a coat of oil.

24. Attach the supercharger drain tube to the extra fitting and clamp down. Insert the ESS dipstick back into the engine (it will pop back into place) and reattach all clips and hoses (Photo AF).

25. Back to the intercooler pipes now... Lay them out on the ground so you can make sure you have everything you should. Put all clamps in place and loose to allow attachment and adjustment. You can get an idea of how it will all connect as well.

26. I started with the far side of the intercooler. I used a *small* amount of engine oil to make slipping the hoses on easier. Mount the return hose and pipe under the engine and connect to the intercooler (Photo AG). There is a tab on this pipe which attaches to the existing bolt under the A/C compressor. Remove this long 13mm bolt and attach the pipe like pictured (Photo AH).

27. This pipe runs under the engine thru a rubber hose connection(Photo AI) over and up to the throttle body. There is another metal attachment point on the side of the engine. Use the supplied 13mm bolt and L-bracket to fasten this as well (Photo AJ).

28. Mount the aluminum reducer fitting to the throttle body using the 3" silicone hose and clamps. This is a tricky connection, so I recommend spraying some tacky ultra-hold hair spray on the inside of the 3" hose between the reducer and throttle body (off the car of course). This will allow easy assembly, but will add an extra amount of stick on the small surface of throttle body once it dries (Photo AK).

29. Bring the intercooler hose you installed in Step 27 up to the throttle body and attach the big hose to the reducer and the smaller hose to the Idle Control Valve (Photo AL).

29. The intake side of the intercooler uses the shorter hose with all the bends. Attach this piece to the intercooler (Photo AM) and run it up to where the airbox used to be (Photo AN). In Photo AM, you can see the 1" bypass valve tap connection on the intercooler pipe under the blue radiator drain. Note this for use later.



Photo A

Photo B

Photo C

Photo D

Photo E

Photo F

Photo G

Photo H

Photo I

Photo J

Photo K

Photo L

Photo M

Photo N

Photo O

Photo P

Photo Q

Photo R

Photo S

Photo T

Photo U

Photo V

Photo W

Photo X

Photo Y

Photo Z

Photo AA

Photo AB

Photo AC

Photo AD

Photo AE

Photo AF

Photo AG

Photo AH

Photo AI

Photo AJ

Photo AK

Photo AL

Photo AM

Photo AN

  © MarvelPhx